I’m scrawling on a book. I’ve convinced myself that if I don’t make notes now, my thoughts will evaporate. But still it feels like sacrilege – like taking a dump in the Sistine Chapel. Is a book a relic, or a canvas? Is this defacement or annotation? Outside of religion and the inverted Y-axis, I can barely think of a more divisive issue.
My mind turns to the fate of the books I write. I want them to be nurtured and handed down through generations. Kept in natural light and controlled humidity until a far-future fingerprint releases them for 25th-century superbeings. But I also want my books to be abused. Ripped, dog-eared and spat on. I want broken spines, corrections and appalling profanity. I want them to be discovered in dusty charity shops and used to prop up poker tables.
I want my books to be loved.